This story is part of a KXAN series of reports called “Stop Mass Shootings,” providing context and exploring solutions surrounding gun violence in the wake of the deadly Uvalde school shooting. We want our reports to be a resource for Texans, as well as for lawmakers who are convening a month after the events in Uvalde to discuss how the state should move forward. Explore all “Stop Mass Shootings” stories by clicking here.
UVALDE, Texas (KXAN) — Law enforcement is working to learn more about the 18-year-old gunman who entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and killed 19 children and two adults.
The shooter, Salvador Ramos from Uvalde, shot and injured his grandmother before going to the elementary school Tuesday. An address listed for Ramos in online records showed he lived less than half a mile from the school.
Department of Public Safety South Texas Regional Director Victor Escalon said Thursday the grandmother is alive and stable.
Escalon said investigators are still working to figure out Ramos’ motive. The DPS spokesperson said there are numerous questions still unanswered.
“That takes time [the investigation]. We’re still grabbing a lot of information,” Escalon said.
Here’s what we’ve learned about the 18-year-old:
Ramos wrecked the truck that he took from his grandmother outside of the school Tuesday morning. He climbed a fence and entered the school with a rifle and a backpack of ammunition, Escalon said.
KXAN’s Dalton Huey spoke with a social media connection of Ramos.
Sean Colvin, 18, of Virginia said he has known Ramos for the last year via Yubo, a relatively new social media company based in Paris, France that established its presence in the U.S. in 2020 when it opened its new American headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida.
Colvin told KXAN he talked with Ramos on a daily basis.
Colvin described Ramos as an angry person who was always arguing with people, but at other times appeared emotionless.
“When people argued with him, he always said, ‘you’ll know who I am. You’ll know what I did. You’ll remember my name,’” said Colvin.
Colvin told KXAN Ramos frequently made threats about shooting others, but the group always thought it was a joke, and he just had a dark sense of humor.
A Yubo spokesperson provided KXAN the following response:
“We are fully cooperating with law enforcement officials. At this time, we are keeping details on individual user data and activity on our platform confidential as to not hinder efforts during an active police investigation.
Yubo recognizes and takes seriously our responsibility for the safety of our users. We work closely with governments, NGOs and charities, and have created a safety board made up of world-class industry safety experts to advise Yubo’s safety practices and tools, which go well above industry standards.
We take a proactive approach to improving and developing safeguards for users while on the app and prioritize safety innovation above all else, which includes accessible reporting, age and identity verification, and a combination of AI detection tools and human moderation. Advanced AI filters that not only monitor chats, but also video during live streams, by taking second-by-second screenshots and flagging suspicious content to human moderators in real time.
We remain committed to continually enhancing our safety measures on the app. In the coming days we will provide detailed information on new developments designed to further strengthen these measures.”
Community members of the small South Texas town have shared what they know about Ramos through media reports.
Uvalde resident Hope Luna told KXAN that her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend grew up with him.
“He was just a normal kid just like any other, didn’t seem to have any issues [when he was younger],” she said. “He had friends. We don’t really know what triggered him to do this.”
A man who lived near the elementary school told NewsNation he believed the teen had been bullied and moved in with his grandmother after arguing with his mother.
The neighbor said he felt the shooter “was just mad at the world.”
The shooter fired “numerous rounds” inside the building, DPS said. Officials are still working to figure out how many shots were fired. The “majority” of the shooting happened at the beginning of the incident, DPS said.
A tactical team with U.S. Border Patrol went into the classroom where the gunman barricaded himself and shot and killed him about an hour after he first walked into the school, DPS said.